Also published on this date: Monday, May 13, 2019: Kids' Maximum Shelf: Queen of the Sea

Shelf Awareness for Monday, May 13, 2019

Simon & Schuster: Fall Cooking With Simon Element

Ace Books: Dungeon Crawler Carl by Matt Dinniman

Little, Brown Books for Young Readers: The Millicent Quibb School of Etiquette for Young Ladies of Mad Science by Kate McKinnon

Annick Press: Bog Myrtle by Sid Sharp

Minotaur Books: Betrayal at Blackthorn Park: A Mystery (Evelyne Redfern #2) by Julia Kelly

Tor Books: Blood of the Old Kings by Sung-Il Kim, Translated by Anton Hur

Del Rey Books: The Book of Elsewhere by Keeanu Reeves and China Miéville


Hachette, IPG Add Programs for New Indie Customers

In response to Baker & Taylor's decision to stop selling to bookstores, several more publishers and distributors are making it easier for stores to order directly.

Hachette Book Group is launching Indie Direct, which is designed for any indie bookstore that does not already have an account with HBG. (The new account must be set up and first order received by August 30.)

Benefits include expedited account set-up; no minimum quantity on the bookstore's initial order; expedited credit approval; and additional discount for the store's initial order in the program. The program is applicable for all HBG titles and the titles of participating client publishers, which include Abrams, Chronicle Books, Disney Book Group, Hachette UK, Kids Can Press, Moleskine, Octopus, Phaidon, piKids, Quercus/Nicholas Brealey, Quarto Publishing Group and Yen Press.

"Hachette Book Group is committed to independent bookstores and the amazing work they do on behalf of our authors and our books," said Alison Lazarus, executive v-p, group sales director. "With HBG's Indie Direct promotion, we're pleased to extend our support to those independent booksellers who do not currently have accounts with HBG. Our goal is to help onboard these stores with an easy transition plan, and to eliminate any concerns about ordering books from us or our client publisher partners. We're looking forward to establishing relationships with new bookstore partners."

Booksellers with questions about the program should contact HBG's telephone sales team at or 800-934-5252.


Independent Publishers Group has launched the Indie Direct program, which offers special terms for one order placed between May 10 and September 1. For new accounts, there is no prepayment required for the first order, and there's an automatic credit limit of $1,000 for opening a new account, with no credit application required.

For all accounts, new and current, on the order there is an additional 5% discount on an order of 10 or more units; net 60 dating on the order; free freight for 10 or more units ordered; and qualifying orders placed by 11 a.m. Central time will ship by the end of the next business day.

More information, including a promo code and ordering details, will be sent directly to bookstores from IPG's dedicated indie bookstore sales team. In the meantime, stores can contact customer service at (800) 888-IPG1 or

G.P. Putnam's Sons: William by Mason Coile

IBD Part 2: New Orleans Celebrates Its Indie Bookstores

Once again, New Orleans bookstores celebrated Independent Bookstore Day several weeks after the rest of the country--so as not to conflict with Jazz Fest. While this year's IBD was celebrated on Saturday, April 27, New Orleans stores Octavia Books, Garden District Book Shop, Tubby & Coo's Mid-City Book Shop, and Blue Cypress Books celebrated this past Saturday.

Customers who visited all four stores--receiving a sticker for each shop they visited in a passport--were eligible for a raffle to win a $50 gift card at each participating store. The stores also had their own events and offered the exclusive books, art and gifts created for Independent Bookstore Day.

Blue Cypress owner Elizabeth Alquist called IBD "great! We did 15% off new books, and free ARCs with $25 or more (or sometimes less), free totes with $75 or more. We also had a box of freebie goodies that we'd collected in addition to the IBD exclusive ones."

Octavia Books featured appearances by authors Susan Larson (see a picture of her "stand" below), Raymond Arroyo and Nigel Hamilton; a T-shirt created for the store by graphic artist Tom Varisco; and Taza Chocolate tastings all day.

Garden District Book Shop offered ARCs to anyone who made a purchase of $15 or more, and people who spent $20 in the humor section received a free signed Jenny Lawson poster.

Busy IBD at Garden District
Susan Larson, host of The Reading Life, offering free "book-iatric help" at Octavia Books

Harpervia: The Alaska Sanders Affair by Joël Dicker, Translated by Robert Bononno

Curious: Cambridge's Curious George Store Sold and Moving?

The Curious George Store in Harvard Square in Cambridge, Mass., is closing June 30 and will relocate to an undisclosed location in Central Square, the Boston Globe reported. In addition, owner Adam Hirsch told the Boston Business Journal that he has sold the business, although he wouldn't identify the new owner.

The store nearly had to move from its current site three years ago when the real estate firm that owned the Abbott Building wanted to create an indoor mall at the site. After that company was purchased by Regency Centers, another real estate company--and after a public outcry--Regency promised that Curious George would continue to have a place in the building. The renovations apparently are finally going to start soon, and a representative of Regency Centers said last week in a statement, "When we first acquired this property in 2017, the Curious George Store was something we were excited about having. It's a draw and a unique retailer that only a lucky few get to work with. Since then, we have had a great working partnership with Adam and discussions about their future at the Abbot. We are sad to see them go, but we respect their decision and truly wish them the best."

Hirsch told the Business Journal that "Harvard Square is expensive" and that Central Square is more appealing both because of lower real estate prices and the presence of many young families. "I like to think of it not as an end but as a mild move, down the road," he added.

Hirsch bought the Curious George Store, the book and toy store exclusively focused on Curious George, in 2011. Before that, it had been owned by Hillel Stavis and Donna Friedman, who had also owned WordsWorth and founded the Curious George Store in 1995.

Garth Stein Heading Binc Author Fundraising Group

Garth Stein has become Author Leadership Circle Campaign Chair of Binc, the Book Industry Charitable Foundation; along with Binc co-ambassadors Ann Patchett and James Patterson, he will work to make Binc sustainable so it can continue its mission of providing a financial safety net for booksellers for years to come.

In his new role at Binc, Stein will seek financial commitments from fellow writers. Leadership Circle authors (committed contributions in 2019) include Ann Patchett, James Patterson, Judy Blume & George Cooper, Leigh Bardugo, Gregory Maguire, Aimee Cabo Nikolov, Andrea Thome, Jessica Powell, Jonathan F. Putnam, Amor Towles, Gabrielle Zevin, Jeff Kinney, Christopher M. Finan and Susan Sands.

Garth Stein
(credit: Susan Doupé Photography)

Stein is the author of The Art of Racing in the Rain, A Sudden Light, How Evan Broke His Head and Other Secrets, Raven Stole the Moon and four picture books for children. He called Binc "an essential organization that supports those who have always supported writers the most: booksellers. It is important for us, as authors, to reciprocate by supporting our compatriots in the literary ecosphere. I am excited to bring awareness of Binc's mission to my author friends; booksellers are our family, and family is the most important relationship of all."

Kathy Bartson, Binc's director of development, called Stein "well positioned in the industry and he understands how we each have a role to play in sustaining the organization that strengthens the book industry by protecting booksellers. He's a perfect fit for Author Leadership Circle Campaign Chair."

Pam French, Binc executive director, added, "We are grateful for all of our author and illustrator supporters--for their generosity, industry leadership, and creativity. Writers and their publishers are strengthening the booksellers' safety net through virtual author visits, royalty donations, volunteering their time, decorating piggy banks and more. It couldn't be a better time to welcome Garth Stein to Binc. We are seeing an increased need for assistance and need a corresponding increase in support, so booksellers will continue to have a place to call when they need help.”

Over the past year, various authors have developed creative ways to support Binc. Former Google executive Jessica Powell is donating print royalties from her new book, The Big Disruption: A Totally Fictional but Essentially True Silicon Valley Story (Medium). Aimee Cabo Nikolov, author of Love Is the Answer, God Is the Cure (Inspirational Books), and her publisher donated $5 for every copy of the book sold through April 30. For a donation of at least $100 to Binc, Gabrielle Zevin, author of The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry (Algonquin Books), will speak to book clubs, schools, and libraries for a half hour via Skype or phone. Jeff Kinney, author of the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series and owner of An Unlikely Story Bookstore & Café, Plainville, Mass., hosted a game show-style trivia fundraiser the day before Independent Bookstore Day at the bookstore. And on a recent tour to promote his new book, Final Resting Place: A Lincoln and Speed Mystery (Crooked Lane Books), Jonathan F. Putnam discussed Binc with booksellers and audience members at each stop and donated a portion of his royalties to Binc, which his publisher matched.

S&S's John Hardy Retiring

John Hardy, a 22-year sales veteran at Simon & Schuster, is retiring, effective May 31. Hardy joined the Pocket Book sales group in 1997 as national sales manager for regional wholesalers, including Anderson News, Hudson News, and Aramark. Since then, he has been promoted three times in sales management, and most recently has been senior director of distributor sales and retail marketing, overseeing the sales of Simon & Schuster adult, children's, audio and distribution client lists to a variety of customers, including directly to Walmart, and managing sales teams for Target, Kroger, airports, the military, supermarkets and drugstores, as well as the regional distributors that service this diverse account base.

"John has always been a terrific advocate for our titles and always went above and beyond to establish key partnerships for us with his account base," said S&S senior v-p sales Gary Urda. "What I will miss most about John is his boundless enthusiasm for our books, authors and company; his positive can-do attitude in every situation; and his ability to connect with everyone--buyers, authors, and publishers alike."

Unhappily Noted: Protest at Drag Queen Storytime

Harmonica Sunbeam reading at WORD on Saturday.

A group that last month stood outside Little City Books, Hoboken, N.J., with signs protesting Drag Queen Story Hour did the same on Saturday at WORD in Jersey City during its monthly Drag Queen Story Hour, the Jersey Journal reported.

The protestors said they are members of the American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family and Property, a lay Catholic group. Signs included "God made them male & female" and "Honk to protect our children."

Store manager Brian Benavides told the Journal that there was no interaction between the protestors and customers, saying, "Nobody came in. Nobody came out."


Image of the Day: DiFranco & Friends

photo: Rebecca Russell

Last Friday, Women & Children First, Chicago, Ill., hosted a reading and conversation with Ani DiFranco for her new memoir, No Walls and the Recurring Dream. Seminary Co-op director Jeff Deutsch, a longtime Ani fan, volunteered to help with the event, demonstrating the friendship and collaborative strength of Chicago's indie bookstores. Pictured: DiFranco with Deutsch and Women & Children First co-owner Sarah Hollenbeck. Both booksellers are members of ChiBA (Chicagoland Independent Bookstore Alliance).

Photo Gallery: A Peek Inside New Charis Books Location

Project Q Atlanta offered a "peek inside Charis Books' new Decatur home in 19 photos," noting that "the South's oldest indie feminist bookstore... is settling into its new digs in Decatur after 45 years in Little Five Points, and the reviews are in."

"[People have] been thrilled," said E.R. Anderson, executive director of the nonprofit Charis Circle. "People have been so sweet about it and so happy for us.... Redoing a building is not a thing that we ever wanted to do. But here we are, and we've learned a lot and it's actually been really great. And it's been a huge community effort."

Cool Idea: 'A Night at the Bookstore'

"Dropping $5 on a raffle ticket might give you the chance to spend the night with a friend or family member at Purple Crow Books," the News of Orange County noted in showcasing a fundraising effort by the Hillsborough, N.C., Kiwanis "for Orange County students in need of eyeglasses and eye doctor appointments." The main prize winner receives a night at the bookstore, a $100 book gift certificate and breakfast for two at Cup A Joe.

"Besides helping students with vision issues I hope this encourages people to visit Purple Crow Books," said Hillsborough Kiwanis president Tom Carr. "I am a voracious reader and I am a great supporter of independent bookstores.... It's always been a fantasy for me--to spend a night at the bookstore or library with no one else there to bother me, no one looking over my shoulder."

He added that bookstore owner Sharon Wheeler has been supportive of the fundraiser idea from the start.

"Tom Carr has boundless energy for helping children, and boundless creativity," Wheeler said. "The store is right downtown and I know it'll feel very safe for our guest--it'll be wonderful."

Media and Movies

Media Heat: David Wallace-Wells on Here & Now

Good Morning America: Howard Stern, author of Howard Stern Comes Again (Simon & Schuster, $35, 9781501194290).

The View: Senator Tom Cotton, author of Sacred Duty: A Soldier's Tour at Arlington National Cemetery (Morrow, $28.99, 9780062863157). He will also appear today on CBS This Morning.

NPR's Here & Now: David Wallace-Wells, author of The Uninhabitable Earth: Life After Warming (Tim Duggan Books, $, 9780525576709).

CBS This Morning: Jim Sciutto, author of The Shadow War: Inside Russia's and China's Secret Operations to Defeat America (Harper, $27.99, 9780062853646).

Today Show: Jayson Greene, author of Once More We Saw Stars: A Memoir (Knopf, $25, 9781524733537).

Good Morning America: Pete Holmes, author of Comedy Sex God (Harper Wave, $27.99, 9780062803979).

Wendy Williams: Moby, author of Then It Fell Apart (Faber & Faber, $24.95, 9780571348893).

Movies: Rebecca; William Burroughs Project

Kristin Scott Thomas has joined Lily James and Armie Hammer in the cast of Netflix's film adaptation of Daphne du Maurier's classic novel Rebecca, the Bookseller reported. Scott Thomas will play Mrs. Danvers, the sinister housekeeper. The Working Title project will be directed by Ben Wheatley (High-Rise) and starts production this summer in the U.K. and France.


Kristen Stewart, Ben Foster (Hell or High Water) and Tom Glynn-Carney (Dunkirk) will lead the cast "in a movie inspired by the early works and letters of iconic U.S. writer William Burroughs," Deadline reported, noting that "this will be a hot one at the Cannes market next week."

Foster is making his directorial debut on the film and has written the script with Oren Moverman (Time Out of Mind). The project "explores the unusual love triangle between Burroughs (Foster), his unsung, brilliant, charismatic, common-law muse, Joan Vollmer (Stewart), and a young, straight-laced American ex-pat named Allerton (Glynn-Carney) who upends their lives to the extreme," Deadline wrote.

"We have found the perfect partners in Hengameh Panahi and Charlotte Mickie of Celluloid Dreams," Foster said. "We are delighted to align our film with their formidable taste and reputation to celebrate this unique, untold love story. Our film is kind of anti-Beat. We meet our star-crossed lovers in New York City, head to the Texas border, roar through Mexico City's underbelly, and end up in the Amazon jungle. This film is about love, sex and self-discovery in all of its lush, dark and often hilarious complexity."

Books & Authors

Awards: Desmond Elliott Shortlist

A shortlist has been announced for the £10,000 (about $13,010) Desmond Elliott Prize, which honors a debut novel written in English and published in the U.K. The winner will be revealed June 19. This year's Desmond Elliott shortlisted titles are:

Golden Child by Claire Adam
Hold by Michael Donkor
Devoured by Anna Mackmin

Book Review

Review: Sleepless Summer

Sleepless Summer by Bram Dehouck, trans. by Jonathan Reeder (World Editions, $15.99 paperback, 180p., 9781642860160, June 11, 2019)

In Bram Dehouck's Sleepless Summer, the arrival of a wind farm near the tiny Belgian town of Blaashoek precipitates a series of disturbing events leading to a hellish conclusion. Dehouck is a Belgian author who has received prestigious Dutch prizes for crime writing. Sleepless Summer--translated by Jonathan Reeder--might loosely be considered a crime novel or thriller, but it also has firm roots in horror. There is something Edgar Allan Poe-like in the inexplicable way the wind turbines tax some of Blaashoek's inhabitants, especially Herman Bracke, a butcher who blames his insomnia on an irritating hum coming from the turbines. As his insomnia continues, his fatigue worsens, eventually setting of a chain of events that progress from gross and odd to horrific.

Bracke is only one character out of more than a dozen efficiently sketched by the author in fewer than 200 pages. Though the novel eventually reaches a violent, arguably tasteless crescendo, it spends much of its brief duration establishing the characters' inner lives. Dehouck pays particular attention to each one's fears, resentments and insecurities, which provide the fissile material for the town's collapse into chaos. Saskia Maes, for instance, newly installed in Blaashoek's subsidized housing, is paralyzed by doubt and self-hatred born of a traumatic upbringing: "No, she had to face facts: she stood at the bottom of the social ladder. Not on the second rung, not even on the lowest one. She was a piece of lint under the mat where people wiped their feet."  

Dehouck is merciless in uncovering the status anxiety and prejudices endemic in Blaashoek. The curmudgeonly pharmacist thinks of Saskia: "She looked fit and healthy enough to work. But apparently she chose to sponge off the government, to live off taxpayers' money, off people like him who earned an honest wage." The racial animus directed toward Bienvenue, a Senegalese asylum seeker, is even more malicious. Still, Sleepless Summer resists interpretation as an indictment of small-minded, provincial thinking. In fact, Dehouck seems to mock high-minded interpretations at the start of the novel: "Immediately following the tragic events, sociologists and psychologists scrambled to pinpoint the cause of this human cataclysm. Loneliness, cried one. Alienation, bellowed the next. Small-town insularity, opined the third. It was only a matter of time before a fourth would come up with inbreeding." The depths Sleepless Summers reaches are all the more disturbing if they cannot be explained away.

Roughly the first two-thirds of the novel can be read as a darkly comic take on a small town heading to disaster. Once the calamity begins in earnest, the reader's tolerance of gore, descriptions of bodily functions and senseless killing will be tested as the humor gets blacker and blacker. The town's freefall is inevitable, but when it occurs, the specific deadliness is hard to foresee. Sleepless Summers is determined to leave you with a sick feeling in the pit of your stomach, and its Coen Brothers-meets-Stephen King nightmare of an ending is sure to do the trick. --Hank Stephenson, bookseller, Flyleaf Books, Chapel Hill, N.C.

Shelf Talker: Sleepless Summer draws elements from crime fiction and horror to describe a small town's descent into chaos after the installation nearby of a wind farm.

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